1962 MGB TWO-SEATER ROADSTER
Registration No. 3523 PJ
Chassis No. GHN3-2513
Engine No. 48G 279AH
Old English white with red leather interior.
Engine: four cylinder in-line, pushrod overhead-valve, 1798cc, 95bhp at 5400rpm, twin SU carburettors; Clutch: single plate; Gearbox: four speed manual with synchromesh; Brakes: hydraulically operated discs to front, drums to rear; wire wheels; Suspension: Independent front by coil spring and wishbone, half elliptic springs to live axle. Right-hand drive.
The MG company had built best-selling open sports two-seaters before the MGB came along in 1962. Despite their frankly antique appearance, well over 29,000 TD Midgets were sold between 1949 and 1953, while over 58,000 of the original MGA 1500 left the Abingdon factory in the four years from 1955. At comfortably over half a million, output of the MGB Roadster and its coupe derivative was in quite a different league. Its success in worldwide markets ensured that it became the best-selling ever open sports-car. It was perhaps because there was nothing revolutionary about the MGB that it did so well. It was powered by a tuned version of BMC's evergreen B-series adopted from those used in the corporation's other mass-production models. Only the unitary bodyshell was new. Neatly styled, its shape influenced by MG's scientifically aerodynamic 200mph recordbreakers, the MGB was a much more practical car than its predecessors, offering a roomy cockpit and a comfortable ride. More elaborate than in earlier MG's, the seats had adjustable backs, there were proper wind-up windows and a hood designed to remain firmly in place and watertight at the 100mph plus pace within the province of the car. There was a much more roomy boot and space for an extra passenger behind the seats. If the car, as introduced, was rather more of a fast roadster than earlier MG two seaters had been - that could easily be rectified. The factory offered a fascinating range of performance kits and options ranging from easily bolted-on engine and suspension tuning items, to full race and rally preparation. The car was to go on to a long and rewarding career in club and international competitions.
Possessed of excellent road manners, straightforward and enjoyable to drive, cheap to maintain, the MGB has today an honoured place in the classic car world. Spares are readily available, even to new replacement bodyshells. There are large and supportive owner's clubs around the world offering a vast range of social activities and competitions and the car can keep pace on modern congested roads. It is perhaps the most usable two-seater of them all.
This very early example has recently had the benefit of a complete restoration carried out by professionals to the highest standards, and warrants close examination. Great care was taken with details, the panel fit and the door shut clearances. The engine bay is pristine and the car's underside too has received detailed attention. It has the optional centre-lock wire wheels and other options include a radio with electric aerial and a correct pattern luggage rack on the rear deck. As presented this striking example of a popular open sports-car testifies to the skills of its restorers.